Singapore: Malaysia had a dismal performance in the Singapore Open qualifying on Tuesday, until Malaysia’s former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli lit it up by defeating R. M. V. Gurusaidutt of India 21-14, 16-21, 21-17 before facing his brother in the second qualifying round.
The 23-year-old Zulfadli needed only 22 minutes to see off his brother Zulhelmi 21-14, 21-11 to advance to the main draw. Zulfadli will play last week’s Malaysia Open semi-finalist Christie Jonatan on Wednesday.
Other Malaysia men’s singles shuttlers Chong Wei Feng, Goh Soon Huat and Soo Teck Zhi all crashed out in their first qualifiers.
Chong Wei Feng bowed out 21-19, 14-21, 13-21 to Sukamta Evert of Indonesia in 56 minutes, while Goh Soon Huat was beaten by Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 21-18, 16-21, 22-24.
The 2013 Asia Junior Champion Soo Teck Zhi also experienced disappointment on Tuesday as he lost to Derek Wong Zi Liang of Singapore in straight sets, 14-21, 14-21.
Tai An Khang/Hong Kheng Yew were the only Malaysia men’s doubles pair to cruise into the main draw after beating Singapore pair Chuang Jin Lei/Lee Jian Liang 21-18, 21-15 and Carlos Antonie Cayanan/Philip Joper Escueta of the Philippines 21-15, 21-14.
The Malaysian pair will clash with Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta/Hendra Wijaya in the first round of the main draw. Other Malaysian men’s pairs including Goh V Shem/ Tan Wee Kiong, Hoon Thien How/ Teo Kok Siang, and Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong will kick off their Singapore Open campaigns on Wednesday.